“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
He may have been talking about revolution, but Vladimir Lenin’s quote seems just as apt for the weeks since the coronavirus pandemic arrived in our country.
Since China announced the new contagion to the world, life as we all know it has been changed beyond recognition.
We’ve realised that it’s not athletes and film stars that really matter, but care staff, delivery drivers and health workers.
Thousands of businesses have realised that, yes, they can function with staff working from home after all.
And parents across the country suddenly have a newfound respect for teachers.
The coronavirus lockdown has caused a lot of reflection in people and their lifestyles. Not only has there been more time to think about what is important, but there has also been the opportunity to reconnect with friends, family, hobbies and passions.
How the pandemic has changed lives
The economic impact of the pandemic cannot be overestimated. Tens of millions of workers across the world have lost their job as a result of lockdown, and many thousands of businesses have failed.
It’s not just bar and restaurant workers that have been affected either. Airline pilots, CEOs and highly skilled professionals have also been impacted by a downturn in demand across many business sectors. And, business owners may have been forced to close their doors for good, putting an end to years or even decades of hard work.
If you are in this position, you may have been forced to confront the idea of ‘what do I do next?’
Other people may have arrived at the same point entirely voluntarily. Perhaps:
- You have appreciated the slower pace of life and realised just how much you don’t particularly enjoy your job
- You have worked hard for years and don’t want the stress of having to navigate your business through another recession
- Your spending has reduced dramatically, and you have realised just how little you actually needed all that money to fund your lifestyle. Perhaps you’d rather work fewer hours/days and just rein in your spending?
Of course, there are many people for whom lockdown will have been the opposite experience.
Perhaps lockdown has given you a glimpse of what your life might be like during your retirement. Maybe you haven’t enjoyed having extra time on your hands, and you’ve realised that you really want to keep on working?
And lockdown could have also changed your perspective on your relationships.
Italian lawyers have reported a 30% increase in the number of couples inquiring about, or initiating, divorce proceedings since the country went into coronavirus lockdown. Co-op Legal Services in the UK say there has been a 42% rise in divorce inquiries between 23 March and mid-May, compared with the same period in 2019.
Having lived through lockdown it’s perhaps no surprise that many people have decided that a slower pace of life is exactly what they need.
Property portal Rightmove recently reported that the three areas with the largest year-on-year jumps in buyer demand, in the week that property market lockdown measures were eased, were all on the south coast of England.
Local estate agents in London have also reported a spike in buyers looking to relocate for green space, sea air and bigger, better value homes.
As travel restrictions also ease, it’s likely that there will also be an increase in people looking to move or retire overseas to benefit from a change of pace.
The role that your financial affairs plays in your future
Whatever conclusions you have drawn in recent weeks about your future lifestyle, the common factor will be ‘do my finances allow me to do this?’
- Can I retire earlier than I previously wanted?
- Can I move home?
- Do I want to work from home?
- Can I afford to work less?
- Can I leave my job and pursue a new career in something that interests me?
- Can I emigrate, or return to my ‘home’ country?
- How would my financial situation change if I got divorced?
Our role as financial planners is to help you to live the life that you want with the money that you have. If lockdown has led you to make important decisions about your future, or you’re considering making lifestyle changes, we can help you to explore the options and see what is possible.
Please get in touch or call (01372) 724 249.